Chinese Painters

Raphael Petrucci

Chinese Painters, by Raphael Petrucci

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Title: Chinese Painters A Critical Study
Author: Raphael Petrucci
Commentator: Laurence Binyon
Translator: Frances Seaver
Release Date: August 9, 2007 [EBook #22288]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CHINESE PAINTERS ***

Produced by Dave Morgan, Anne Storer and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

Transcriber's Note: 1. There is one instance each of Huang Yin-Piau and Huang Yin-Piao, and Yn Shou-p'ing and Yn Chou-p'ing so they have been left as printed. 2. In this text the breve has been rendered as [)u]
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CHINESE PAINTERS

CHINESE PAINTERS A CRITICAL STUDY
BY RAPHAEL PETRUCCI
TRANSLATED BY FRANCES SEAVER
WITH A BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE BY LAURENCE BINYON OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM
AND WITH TWENTY-FIVE ILLUSTRATIONS IN DUOTONE
NEW YORK BRENTANO'S PUBLISHERS

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY BRENTANO'S
All rights reserved
THE PLIMPTON PRESS NORWOOD MASS USA
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PREFACE
A translator can have but one aim--to present the thought of the author faithfully. In this case an added responsibility is involved, since one who had so much to give to the world has been taken in his prime. M. Petrucci has written at length of art in the Far East in his exhaustive work La Philosophie de la Nature dans l'Art d'Extrme Orient and elsewhere, and has demonstrated the wide scope of his thought and learning. The form and style in Peintres Chinois are the result of much condensation of material and have thus presented problems in translation, to which earnest thought has been given.
In deference to the author's wish the margin has not been overladen and only a short tribute, by one able to speak of him from personal knowledge, has been included, together with a few footnotes and a short bibliography of works of reference indispensable to the student who will pursue this absorbing study. The translator takes this opportunity to make grateful acknowledgement of her debt to the authors named, who have made such valuable information available, and to those friends who have read the manuscript and made many helpful suggestions.
FRANCES SEAVER
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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE
In Raphael Petrucci, who died early in 1917, the world has lost one of the ablest and most devoted students and interpreters of the art of the Far East. He was only forty-five years of age, in the prime of his powers, brimming with energy and full of enterprises that promised richly. Though he did not die in the field, he was none the less a victim of the war. He had exhausted himself by his labours with the Belgian ambulances at La Panne, for Belgium was his adopted country. He had a house in Brussels, filled with a collection of Chinese and Japanese art, and a little cottage near the coast just over the borders of Holland. He came of the great and ancient Sienese family of the Petrucci, but his mother was French and he spent much of his earlier life in Paris, before settling in Brussels and marrying one of the daughters of the painter Verwe. He had also spent some time in Russia. In Brussels he was attached to the Institut Solvay.
He was a man of science, a student of and writer on sociology and biology. He lectured on art and had a knowledge of the art of the world which few men in Europe rivalled. He wrote a philosophic novel, La Porte de l'Amour et de la Mort, which has run through several editions. He published a book on Michelangelo's poetry. At the same time he was a scientific engineer. When war broke out Petrucci was on his way home from Italy, where he had been engaged, I believe, on some large engineering project and he only got out of Switzerland into France by the last train which left Basle. He came to England for a time, looking after a number of Belgian refugees, including some very distinguished artists. At the end of 1914 he was engaged by the India office to do some valuable work in London on the collection of Chinese and Tibetan paintings brought back from Tun-huang by Sir Aurel Stein. He then worked at La Panne for the Belgian army hospital (he had had a medical training in his youth), went to Provence for a rest, fell ill and died in Paris after an operation.
Raphael Petrucci was a man who seemed to reincarnate the boundless curiosity and the various ability of the men of the Italian Renaissance. But for some years before his death he had concentrated his powers chiefly on the study of
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